Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is this the end?

First of all, I want you to know that this post may contain some TMI. I don't know how much or little I plan to include just yet, we'll see how it goes. For what it's worth, you've been forewarned.


For the past few weeks I've been having issues with Bella and nursing. She's been distracted, taking longer to eat, and her poopy diapers were really runny, basically water. I've tried covering her, to keep her interested, but she just plays with the cover. Under the advice of a good friend, Christine, who lives in PA and knows EVERYTHING (or so it seems), I started nursing her the same side, 2 feedings in a row to make sure Bella was getting the fatty hind milk. Her poops got a little better, but she just wasn't getting enough.

I used to pump in the morning. She would wake up and nurse on one side, then I would pump the other. I slowly noticed I was getting less and less, and so was she. She's been nursing BOTH sides, every feeding, for the past week. And she "empties" both sides. I'm talking deflated balloons here! I'm not getting as full either it seems. I've known this is coming. I wanted to nurse until she was 1 at least, but now I'm wondering if I'll make it to 6 months. This makes me very sad. She's been on solids for a week now, because I've felt she needed something 'more'. She is more than ready and doing well. I only give them to her once a day in the evenings though, so that shouldn't affect my supply too much.

I know there are things to do to increase my supply, but in all honesty, I feel that this is really the beginning of the end. I've been eating oatmeal every day. At one point it was working, but not this time around. =(

**Here comes the TMI**

So today I go to the bathroom, you know, because I had to go, and I lok down and I had started my period at some point this morning, and never even knew. SUPER. I've had a nauseous feeling off and on for a couple weeks, but nothing that would make me think that my period was coming. In all honestly, I had a fleeting though that I might be pregnant again! So I still have a queasy feeling in my tummy, and I AM cramping a bit, but really, I probably wouldn't even notice the cramping if I wasn't thinking about it, ya know? I'm really irritated. I didn't want it to come back, not yet. It would have been nice to have some sort of notice, maybe some spotting or real cramping, or SOMETHING. Nope, just go to the bathroom and "Oh, by the way, you're period is here". My clothes are soaking in the laundry room now. I need to go rinse them. Stupid period.

I'm so happy I've been able to nurse her this long, and I will continue to do so as long as I can, but I feel that I will be thawing out some of the frozen stash. I have four cans of formula, plus two bags of another kinds that are supposed to be one day supplies, and a couple small sample boxes. All of which have been sent to me free via the manufacturers (Enfamil, Good Start, Parents Choice, etc). So that is good, Plus I get really GOOD coupons in the mail once a month too.

I'm not looking forward to having to give her formula, mostly because of the financial strain it will put on us. Formula is not cheap, but I feel blessed that we have gone this long. And that is the way we have to look at it. There are so many women who aren't able to go this long, or at all, so I have to feel blessed that I have been able to give her the best there is, for as long as I can.

*sigh* Today makes me sad. It's not the end of the world, but I love nursing her so much. I love the special connection. I love her looking up at me while she nursing. The smiles. I love how she cuddles me and falls asleep against me. I plan to cherish every minute of nursing that I have left.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!



Memorial Day was pretty low key for us this year. We went over to Uncle Dan's fr some hot dogs on the grill, and to go swimming in the pool. I was excited about introducing Bella to the pool, but not so much about being in a bathing suit. I pulled out the ones I had from years past. I thought I would be able to get away with my maternity tankini that I wore to the beach last year... no such luck! Because I don't have a belly to hold the top tight anymore, there is ZERO support for the 'girls'. So I pulled out a black one piece that I had. It is supposed to be 'slimming'. Right. If my slimming you mean I look like a beached whale, then sure. So it's not the most flattering, but whatever. It's all I had.

I am just glad that it was just family there. Had there been more people, I probably would not have gone in. LOL We all sat around and relaxed, Bella ate some sweet peas, which she absolutely loved! You can find a video here.

We played in the pool. She was great in the pool, which I knew she would be! I would hold her and she would try to go on her tummy and kick her legs and move her arms! She go her face wet a couple of times and tried to dry her face on my arm, which didn't work because I was wet too! So we gave her a towel and she dried her face on that. It was super cute! I hope to take her there more often so she is comfortable in the water. They hardly use any chlorine either, so I'm
not worried (too much) about the chemicals. Whatever kind of filter they have only uses a half a tablet a day, which apparently is really good. I know nothing about in-ground pools, though.


Anyways, it got dark and cloudy and stormed shortly after that. We all hung out on the screened in porch, and Bella napped next to me on the parachute hammock. It was a great day and we really enjoyed ourselves!



Monday, May 25, 2009

I like my peas with honey...

Getting ready for my first taste of Cereal!



So bella is almost 5 months! She is 20 weeks today!

I can NOT believe it! I remember hiting 20 weeks in my pregnancy and finding out the baby was a girl! And now, she is here, and it is just amazing! She is growing so much, and every day she does something that just melts my heart!


She's been nursing a lot more lately. Not more often (thank goodness!) but just more at each session. My mommy instincts were telling me she needs something more. The breast-milk just doesn't seem to be satisfying her! So I bought some rice cereal. I debated about it for a while, read up about it. Rice cereal just seemed like more filler than anything, but I figured at least it would let her practice eating off a spoon.


Her First Bite - She doesn't know what is coming!



As soon as it hit her mouth she made an awful face, and then jerked her head back, you know, the way you do when you eat something bitter, or just completely disgusting? It just makes your whole body jerk? That's what she did. So I tried to give her more. Most of it was coming right back out of her mouth. She absolutely did NOT like rice cereal.


Yuck Mom!

Seriously?!? Why are you giving this to me?


So the rice cereal was given to her 2 days in a row - we used the Beech Nut brand (if that makes any difference). Yesterday we cooked some steaks on the grill and also steamed a bag of frozen sweet peas. I've been reading that a LOT of people just go right into real food, so I figured, what the heck. I took some of the peas before we added the butter and started mashing them in a bowl, only about two sponfulls, if that. I added a little bit of breastmilk I had in a bottle inthe fridge, but Kevin kindly pointed out the skins of the peas would be a problem. So I took a colander and put it on top of a paper plate. I put the peas that I had mashed in the bottom, and took a small spatula and started pushing the peas through the bottom holes. Voila! No skins! I took all the "met" from the peas, which probably equaled up to a tablespoon at best, and added a little bit more breastmilk to thin them just enough that they would stick to the spoon without running out of her mouth like water.





Not again....


This time, we put her in her bouncy seat so she was at a slight incline and not leaning forward like she did in her bumboseat.


Oh no mom, please don't give me some more of that nasty stuff!


At first she wasn't as receptive. I think it had to do with the whole rice cereal episodes.. But then she actually liked it. She spit it back out a couple times, but I think that was more because I put to much in her mouth and not because she didnt like it. She definately wore less of the sweet peas than she did of the rice cereal!



Hey! This isn't so bad!



Mom, you know I can't eat that much at once!



Just let me do it!

After I told her there wasn't any more left.



So sweet peas are a go! She likes them and so far there hasn't been any reaction at all (other than today's massive bath-inducing poop!) I guess I'll have to start buying frozen fruits and veggies to start storing for her! =)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Appreciate what you have now.

Stop. Right now, and tell your mom you love her. Tell your sister, your brother, your dad, uncle, cousin, aunt, husband, wife, and children. Go ahead, I will wait.

Why?

Because today I realized just how short life can be.

Today I realized that those you love may not be there when you wake up.

Today, two children lost their mother, and could possibly lose their father as well.

Today, my sister-in-law lost her closest and very best friend.

Today, someone was killed in a motorcycle accident.

It happened around midnight, we don't know any details, but Rob was driving, and lost control of the bike. Leanne was found dead at the scene, and all we know at this point is Rob broke both legs and his back, and was flown to a hospital in Youngstown.

How do you tell two children, 14 and 10, that their mom is gone? How do you explain to them that their dad is seriously injured, and that they don't know if he'll make it? How do you tell someone their best friend, who they grew up with, is gone?

I don't know the answer to those questions, and I am grateful that I do not have to do those things. But I think about my daughter, and how would someone tell her? How would someone tell me, f something were to happen to my husband? How would I react? Would I go immediately into hysterics? Would I shut down and go into shock?


So today, I was once again reminded at how short life can be, and I look around and am grateful, and thankful, and I feel completely blessed to have what I have. A beautiful, healthy baby girl. A wonderful, loving, devoted husband. I have a wonderful family and friends, all of who I can rely on.

So today, make sure you let everyone who matters to you know, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Don't ever assume that they know, make sure you KNOW they know.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What do you do when you don't want to cook? You break the oven!

So, today I decided to clean the oven. There was food on the bottom that just continued to burn every time we cooked something and it was driving me crazy. So i get the oven cleaner and read the can, I've never used it before so I wasn't sure how it worked. Tuns out you gotta spray it carefully inside, you can't get it on any heating elements or coils, then it sits for two hours, then you are supposed to be able to wipe the crud away, but you still have to continually rinse it with water. Hm. That doesn't sound like fun, let alone something I can easily do with a 4month old baby! So this oven we have has this 'self-clean' function. You just flip the handle and push the button and 3 hours later - clean oven! Well I've never used it before either, but I thought to myself "This has to be easier than the other stuff, right?". So that's what I did.



Bella woke up from her nap and I went to get her. I'm sitting on my chair nursing Bella, and I smell something burning. Then I lean back and look into the kitchen and see smoke and there was this bright glowing I could see through the window of the oven door. I jump up and unlatch Bella and run in there, it's on fire! I Yell for Kevin, run down the hallway - "KEVIN! KEVIN! THE OVEN IS ON FIRE!" Of course he is sleeping, so he's not completely registering - "What? Why is it on fire?" Me: "I don't know, I turned on the self-cleaning thing and now it's on fire!!!" So he gets up and comes in there. No fire. Just the heating element glowing. He glares at me and goes "It's just the crap burning off." And he goes back to bed.



After that nothing. I let it finish and finally it is done. I go over and open it up to look inside, after all, I want to see how well it worked! The first thing I notice is something on the bottom. I look closer.. it's the heating element. SUPER. So by now Kevin has already woken up, and he hears me go "SH**!" And he asks what is wrong, and I go "We gotta buy a new oven." So he comes in and looks at it, and is like "It's okay, we should be able to just replace that part". Thank goodness, because we cannot afford a new oven AT ALL.



So tonight we are grilling hot dogs and having sweet potatoes and maybe some fries.





Here's the inside of my oven.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

She shoots! She SCORES!

Went shopping today. I was given a $30 spending limit since it is the weekend between pay periods. Last night I stayed up going through my coupons and the sale ads to figure out what I need (mostly want) to buy. Here's what I got:



Target


3pks Trident Gum
Nabisco 100 calorie Chips Ahoy
Ritz Crackers
Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash (2ltr) x2
Suave Professionals Shampoo x2
Dawn Dish Soap (with the air freshener in the bottom)




Total spent: $6.48








Best deal was the Chips Ahoy 100 calorie packs for $.04 after target and MFR coupons! Target doesn't print out the before total on the receipt, so I'm not sure what it was, but it says I saved $10.04, and that's about right with the coupons I had. The girl at the register was shocked at the total. She said "I know I rang up more than six dollars!!!" =) yay! I went to Martins afterwards..







Martins

Kraft Cucumber Ranch Dressing
Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
A1 Chicago Style Marinade x2
Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts
French's Fried Onions
Airwick Freshmatic
Airwick Freshmatic refill x 2
Capri Sun Sunrise Orange
Splenda Caramel Coffee Sweetener x 2
Bananas 1 bunch
Sweet potatoes (4)
Over The Moon Chocolate Milk
Swiss Sweet Tea
Giant Brand 1% milk (gal)

Total Before Savings: $64.90
Total after savings: $33.53

I had some money left on a gift card my parents sent for our anniversary, so after I used that, I only paid $28.84.

The best deal at Martins was the A1 Marinade. On sale for $1.99 and I had 2 $2 / 1 coupons! So it was FREE! Technically, a $.01 moneymaker! The Kraft Dressings were on sale for $1.69, and I had 2 $1.50 / 1 coupons. Another good one I found was the Freshmatic Air Freshener. It was normally priced at about $13. On sale for $5.49 and I had a $4 off coupon. I actually had 2 coupons, I should have otten two, but I resisted.



So in the end, I really only spent $34.72 and I didn't get in trouble for going over my budget of $30. <3

Bella did great the whole day too! =)



Here are some pics totally unrelated to this post.









Kevin and I in front of St. Susanna's Church

Emma, Madison, and Bella


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Four Month Checkup!

Today Bella had her 4 month checkup. She is 13lbs 4oz and 23 1/4 inches long. She's in the 50% for weight and 75% for height. Right on track! I gave her some Tylenol before the appointment, and she didn't' scream as bad when she got her shots. I nursed her right after also, which helped her to calm down.

She's been fussy for most of the afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow she will be back to normal. We aren't starting her on any solids or cereals yet. The Ped said that the AAP recommends waiting until 6 months. He said if I want to try to space out her feedings I could, but starting her on cereals or anything else isn't necessary. He did suggest getting her some Vitamin ADE drops ( i think, I have it written down). This is just to ensure she gets all her vitamins.

She is hitting her milestones like she should, and he said she is doing great. Of course we told him she hates to be on her tummy, but he put her down and she pushed up and was all happy and fine and then rolled over. LOL OF COURSE! Ah well. At least she was good at the doctors office.

Well, that's it for the update on Bella. I need to take the pics off the camera and upload them! Maybe tomorrow..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Needing a change...

So, I've lived in Virginia since I was 15. I'm 28 now, that's 13 years. It hardly seems that long, but at the same time it feels like forever. I started in Alexandria for a few months, then my parents bought a house in Dale City. When I turned 18 I moved to Manassas, and was there until three years ago, when Kevin and I bought our house.

I've never liked living in Virginia. When we moved here I was just starting 10th grade, and I absolutely hated that I left all my friends in Texas. I ended up meeting someone and it was okay. My dad retired, and eventually they moved to Arkansas, where most of my mom's family lives. I had my own life here at the time - a job, friends, I was living with my boyfriend - I had no reason to follow. Then after that relationship fizzled, I just stayed. I don't really know why, but I did. I met Kevin, and eventually we moved out here to Winchester, and while I still don't really LOVE Virginia, I like it better out in the country than in the city.

Kevin and I just spent a week in Ohio visiting his brother Scott, and his family. We had such a wonderful time. Sara is soo organized and crafty, and motivated, I love her to death! I so wish we lived closer. They live is a beautiful town. It's like, the perfect little suburbia town. No white picket fence, but thats probably only because of the HOA rules! LOL Anyways, we both love the area, and have thought about moving there. The problem is, with Scotts job, he could be moved somewhere else, at any time. Here in Winchester we have family that we know ill be around for a good long time. Moving up there, Scott and Sara would be all the family we have. If they left, we'd be alone.

Not that we could actually move right now anyway. We are 'stuck' in our house, unless we want to take a HUGE hit, which we just can't do. So realistically, we aren't leaving this house until the housing market picks back up. So I've been thinking, WHY do I want to move? WHAT is it that I need?

I need a change. Something. Something different. I like where I live. It's a quiet cul-de-sac, there's woods and a creek behind us, I'm not in the city, but close enough that I can get to whatever I need in a reasonable time. My house is small, but really is big enough for the three of us. We have a nice yard, and great neighbors. We really only know the people directly on either side of us, but I have no complaints about anyone on our street. So why move? Maybe moving isn't the change I need. I know that Kevin is needing some change too.

Maybe the change I need is right here. Change in my home. Clean it up. Get rid of things. I think, if I can force myself to detach from things, that I could have a home that I feel happy in. Right now, I look around, and I feel cluttered. I love my living room, it is simple. There isn't a lot of clutter (other than Bella's stuff, but that is different). But I go in the laundry room, and things are piled up on shelves and just messy and chaotic. The computer room is the same way - I go in and the closet is crammed with stuff, the computer desk is cluttered, there is stuff shoved in every corner. I get stressed and anxious just thinking about it.

So maybe I just need to simplify my life, simplify my home. Get rid of the clutter. Maybe I just need to change WHAT I have, rathere than WHERE I am. Moving would only move my clutter, and then I would be unhappy in the new place.

Unhappy is the wrong word to use, I think though. I AM happy with where I am in life. I am a mom, and a wife, and I have a great husband and a gorgeous daughter. I have good friends and wonderful family that lives nearby. I am blessed in so many ways, so I cannot say that I am unhappy, because that is a lie.. I just feel FRUSTRATED with my home.

I go into other people's homes, and they feel so clean and organized (especially Sara's! LOL). And while I don't think I can be as organized as Sara (who has everything labled...) I want to be more organized. have a place for everything, and be able to find things. And not open the closet in the computer room and be afraid that something will fall on my head..

The problem I am running into is that I need containers, storage bins, something, to put little things in and keep them neat and tidy. That costs money, and I just can't justify spending the money. So I suppose I will have to eventually, but for now, I will make do with what I have.

TOnight, I'm starting in the laundry room. It is small, but seems to collect EVERYTHING. So it may take me a few days, or even a week, to get it done, as I can only work on it during Bella's short naps. And the Kitchen table will be the catch all for everything I take OUT of the laundry room. But I know once I get it done, I will feel so much better, then I can start on another room.


Anyone want to come over and help?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So some stranger kissed my kid...

It's Apple Blossom!

Friday was the Bloomin' Mile race for the little kids. There is a 10k race on Saturday morning, but that's all grown ups and boring. LOL Bella and I went to watch the race with Kevin's cousin Dana. His other cousin (Dana's brother) was there as well, since both his boys were racing. Obviously I wouldn't have gone had I not known any kids in the race. That would have just been weird. Anyways - there was about five bazillion kids there, all ages, ready to run their little hearts out! We got a good spot right at the start, so we could see the boys and attempt to get pictures!


So we get there and have to park at least a half a mile away, on the top of a hill, no less. I squeezed up against the curb, against a bush, so Dana had to climb over the drivers seat to get out. Fun times! It was a nice walk down to the high school, which is where the race is. Trees and flowers all in bloom! The race starts on the street in front of the high school, then goes up and around and down to some other street and back up to the start. I'm not quite sure of the exact route, but its basically all around the high school. The kids were all excited, and hey, good for them. I doubt you'll see me running around the high school anytime soon. I doubt you'll see me running ANYWHERE anytime soon. Unless you tell me at the end of the race I get some of Dana's yummy guacamole (I'm addicted!)... but that's neither here nor there..


So there we are, standing there, just enjoying ourselves. There is this one older kid.. maybe 12? He was a special needs kid, and was really fascinated with Bella. Since Dana was holding her, he was asking her all kinds of questions. How old is she? What's her name? When was she born? Dana told him I was her mommy and he looked at me and said "Well, you are one very lucky woman." Which I thought was just the sweetest thing! Then he disappeared for a while and then randomly showed back up next to Dana, who was still holding Bella (that's why I bring her along! LOL) And he told her he thought Bella was cute (Again) and asked if her could 'pat' her. Dana said "Sure, But you have to be-" and that's when it happened. He planted a kiss right on her head. "gentle." Then he just walked away. Now, I wasn't sure how to react. Regardless if the child is special needs or not, he meant no harm, and you just can't get mad about a child showing some love to a baby, HOWEVER, I was concerned about the FORCE he had when he planted that kiss right on the top of her head. Dana handed her over to me promptly after that, and apologized a LOT. It wasn't her fault, and it would have happened if I was holding her or anyone else was. Then of course all kinds of things ran through my head - I don't know if this kid is sick, or has anything else.. Heck, with all that's going on, he could have swine flu! (OK, most likely not, but still, the thought crossed my mind!) But I took a deep breath and just rubbed her head and she had no clue what was going on. =)





I got a couple of pics of the boys running, and Bella started to get fussy and after the kissing incident, I was a little paranoid about any other germy kids touching my kid, so I pulled out the Mei Tai that I got as a wonderful surprise gift from a beautiful soul who lives in Texas - Thanks again Heather! - and I put it on and carried her around. First time in public using it, and I did like it. It made the long walk back to the car (UP hill) a bit easier, although I did feel like I was pregnant again with all the weight back in the front. Bella went right to sleep against my chest. =) If I could, I would have just left her on me instead of putting her in her car seat. I got a good pic of the boys together, and on the way I had Dana take a pic of me carrying Bella. I think it came out well.

I swear I'm not a Wino.



Last weekend my grandparents drove up from Nashville to visit with us! We had such a wonderful time and I feel so blessed that Bella was able to meet her GREAT grandparents! That weekend was the Wine & Fine Arts festival downtown, so we all went down and had ourselves some wine! I thawed out some milk and had a few bottles ready for Bella... I planned to enjoy myself!

And that I did! We had a WONDERFUL time! Other than it being hot, it was beautiful and we had such good weather and fun with not only my grandparents but some friends as well. We tried many wines, ate some good food, listened to some live music, and checked out some crafts!

I tried many wines, and had a couple glasses of Sangria. Then I tried many more wines. I'm sure I drank more than a responsible mother with a 4 month old should, but gosh darn it, I don't EVER drink, and I LOVE wine, and I missed TWO wine festivals last year while I was pregnant. So I made up a bit. ;)

Overall it was a wonderful visit. I just can't say it enough! I absolutely adore my grandparents, and I wish we lived closer. We plan to stop by to visit them in August on our way either to or from my parents house in Arkansas, since we drive right through Nashville. We are hoping Bella will be able to meet her Great GREAT Granny then!